Friday, March 22, 2012
ORNL in the News

ORNL wins tech awards

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Technologies developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory were among the winners at the annual regional Federal Laboratory Consortium Awards. Among the highlighted projects was the Pulse Thermal Processing, which was described as "a technology for thermally processing thin film structures that allows high-temperature operation on low-cost and temperature-sensitive substrates, such as plastics."..3/21

Solid electrolyte makes lithium-ion batteries safer

(Machine Design) Today’s lithium ion batteries rely on a liquid electrolyte that is flammable and prone to fires, more so as scientists try to pack more energy into small packages. To overcome these safety issues, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a solid electrolyte out of lithium triphosphate...3/20

 

DOE

Sequestration and cleanup uncertainties

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Department of Energy is still being very vague about the situation with sequestration, especially regarding the Environmental Management program in Oak Ridge. Any funding shortfall is obviously going to have an impact because the big projects -- the K-25 demolition, the K-25 pre-demolition and other key cleanup activities -- probably didn't have enough money to begin with...3/21

U.S. Department of Energy honors PPG scientists for advances in OLED lighting

(Solid State Technology) PPG Industries has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for “significant achievements” in advancing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting technology...3/21

State & Regional

TN ranks third for rising hospital costs, insurers' group says

(Tennessean) The cost of a hospital stay in Tennessee rose at the third-highest rate in the nation between 2008 and 2010, according to a report by the trade organization that represents commercial health insurers...3/20

National

House approves resolution to keep government running; bill heads to White House

(Washington Post) Congress approved a short-term funding bill Thursday that ends the possibility of a federal government shutdown next week. But a broader budget battle about taxes and spending for the year is just beginning...3/21

U.S. hopeful of strong Chinese action on North Korea

(Reuters) The United States is optimistic China will take strong action against North Korea by increasing scrutiny of financial transactions with Pyongyang that could contravene fresh U.N. sanctions, a senior U.S. official said on Friday...3/22

East Tennessee

OR firm to more than double size, add workers

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A homegrown company in an expansion mode plans to more than double the size of its facility and is seeking a five-year, 100 percent tax break to help...3/22

energy & science policy

U.S. Energy Deputy Secretary Poneman, Brazil’s Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Zimmermann Sign Advance Bilateral Energy Relationship

(Energy.gov) Brasilia, Brazil – U.S. Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman and Brazil’s Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Márcio Pereira Zimmermann this week co-chaired the second meeting of the Strategic Energy Dialogue announced by President Obama and President Rousseff in March 2011...3/20

science & technology

Long-term research: Slow science

(Nature) Although science is a long-term pursuit, research is often practised over short timescales: a discrete experiment or a self-contained project constrained by the length of a funding cycle. But some investigations cannot be rushed. To study human lifespans or the roiling of Earth's crust and the Sun's surface, for instance, requires decades and even centuries...3/20

Seeding Atlantic Ocean with Volcanic Iron Did Little to Lower CO2

(Scientific American) Plankton, tiny marine organisms, are a good way of cleansing the atmosphere of one of the main greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide. To do this they need dissolved iron to help them to grow, and if they lack iron then they cannot do much to reduce CO2 levels...3/21

Scientists Discover 'Lubricant' for Earth's Tectonic Plates: Hidden Magma Layer Could Play Role in Earthquakes

(Science Daily) Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have found a layer of liquefied molten rock in Earth's mantle that may be acting as a lubricant for the sliding motions of the planet's massive tectonic plates...3/20

So It Begins: Darpa Sets Out to Make Computers That Can Teach Themselves

(Wired) The Pentagon’s blue-sky research agency is readying a nearly four-year project to boost artificial intelligence systems by building machines that can teach themselves — while making it easier for ordinary schlubs like us to build them, too...3/21

Other Stories

Onetime Solar Billionaire Shi Zhengrong Suffers Blow As Suntech Power Collapses

(Forbes) ...Suntech Power, a solar panel maker founded in 2001, had grown into a flagship for China’s renewable energy industry by 2011 with a 10,000 workforce in Wuxi, due to the central government’s preferential policies toward the renewable energy industry and lending support from local banks...3/21